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Wednesday, May 27

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A. Magnus is the guest editor today.

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photo courtesy of Terry Chen

Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The waiter informs you that there is a special, off-menu item available. “Today we have a special: blackened snapper with a mango chutney, served on a bed of wild rice.” It sounds good, but you have your heart set on a meat entree. So you tell him, “Sounds good all right, but I think I’ll have the one-inch thick pork chops, with green beans and a house salad.” The waiter stiffens; his smile disappears. “You’ll have...
Original article "The incident happened at an Irish pub in February. Robert Johnson told ABC11 he was nearby when his friend got into a confrontation with the bar staff. "I guess the bouncers were arguing with him for being loud or whatever," said Johnson. When police arrived, Johnson started recording. "Kept a safe distance - just videotaping," he recalled. That's when things took a turn in his direction. Minutes into the recording, you hear an officer tell Johnson they're...
Original article "TPP elevates corporations and corporate profits to and above the level of governments. TPP lets corporations sue governments for laws and regulations that cause them to be less profitable. Enabling tobacco companies to sue governments because anti-smoking campaigns limit profits has nothing to do with trade. Enabling corporations to sue states that try to regulate fracking has nothing to do with trade."
Original article "Sen. Bernie Sanders fired back at 80 CEOs who wrote a letter lecturing America about deficit reduction by released a report detailing how 18 of these CEOs have wrecked the economy by evading taxes and outsourcing jobs. 80 CEO’s raised the ire of Sen. Sanders by publishing a letter in the Wall Street Journal urging America to act on the deficit, and reform Medicare and Medicaid."
Original article "Tax return information for about 100,000 U.S. taxpayers was illegally accessed by cyber criminals over the past four months, U.S. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said on Tuesday, the latest in a series of data thefts that have alarmed American consumers. From February to May, attackers sought to gain access to personal tax information 200,000 times through the agency's "Get Transcript" online application, which calls up information from previous returns, he told a news conference. About half of...
Original article "Renowned media scholar Noam Chomsky has declared that the Buzzfeed-style of clickbait journalism is a new form of propaganda aimed at “manufacturing consent” in the interests of elite, dominant groups in society."
Original article "National advocacy organizations Food & Water Watch and Water Defense are calling on California Governor Jerry Brown to protect Americans who consume California produce by ending the practice of using toxic oil field wastewater for irrigation. Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times revealed that testing by Water Defense had found toxic industrial chemicals present in the recycled oil field wastewater used to irrigate crops in California’s Central Valley."
Original article "Obama also said that the wars which America waged were “for democracy, the peace we’ve laid to preserve it.” The statement by US president was met with strong criticism both from experts and social media users. “What a joke. Of course the US is still at war,” wrote Brian Fernandes, a user on Facebook. “The US still has troops in Afghanistan and plans to keep them there for years. And they have fomented wars in Ukraine, Africa, Syria, and now Yemen. The US is the most barbaric war-mongering...
Original article "Tensions between China and United States continue to rise over the South China Sea as a Chinese government newspaper warns that war may be 'inevitable' if the U.S. and its allies do not back off from the heavily disputed territory. Last week, the Chinese government condemned the actions of the U.S. military after the P8-A Poseidon, the US' most advanced surveillance aircraft, was caught spying on Chinese naval activities in the Fiery Cross Reef."
Original article "According to investigative reporter Nafeez Ahmed in Medium, the “leaked document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, despite anticipating that doing so could lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). According to the newly declassified US document, the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of the ‘Islamic State’ as a direct...
Original article "A report in the official propaganda magazine of ISIS this month bemoans the fact that the terror group is losing members because of so called ‘conspiracy theories’ that Western intelligence manipulates and controls extremists for its own agenda. The International Business Times reports that the magazine, Dabiq, condemns conspiracy theorists, referring to their ideas and beliefs as “sinful”."
Original article "Hillary Clinton wants her supporters to join her in kicking off the campaign season in style! The Presidential hopeful launched her campaign store full of witty products on Tuesday, May 26, and most of the pieces are just too good to pass up. See the items that are absolutely worth coveting, and more that you should definitely leave out of your shopping cart."
Original article While there's still some left of May, anyway...
Then and Now
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Paul Hein 2014-11-12 08:44
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR I enjoy historical fiction. It is an easy and pleasant way to become familiar with important events in history, without the tedium of a history text’s display of names, dates, etc., in a style guaranteed to generate boredom. Perhaps this is why I enjoyed the TV series “The Tudors.” Once, after watching an episode of that series, I chanced...
[Love + Freedom] Is the Golden Way
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Glen Allport 2014-11-11 09:07
Column by Glen Allport.  Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }A:link { }( Liberty plus Non-Political Support for Compassion ) – 1 – The Yearning for a Compassionate World Most people clearly want a more compassionate world; I certainly do. We differ on how to get there. Many mistake their own sense of compassion as an argument in favor of political movements that claim...
Step On Up! Come On Down!: Navigating the Funhouse Economy
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GainesvilleCoins 2014-11-07 09:03
Column by new Root Striker Everett Millman. Exclusive to STR We ought to be well aware that artificially pumping up the money supply and allowing the State to meddle in the markets are bad in the long term, but equally important are their negative short-term effects that distort prices way out of kilter; we are living in a fantasy world of Tolkienesque proportions if we believe assets are...
Flying High
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Paul Hein 2014-10-28 08:18
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Guess who’s launched a rocket into orbit around Mars? It’s quite an accomplishment, since about half of the world’s previous attempts have failed. Would you guess Saudi Arabia? Dubai? Nope. Would it surprise you to learn it was Liechtenstein? It sure would surprise me, because it isn’t Liechtenstein. Nor Monaco. OK, enough guessing....
Shedding Ignorance
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Scott Thomas Outlar 2014-10-23 08:28
Column by Scott Thomas Outlar. Exclusive to STR Good and Evil, just as it has always been, are involved in a spiritual war that will ultimately determine the very fate of Earth and our species. Make no mistake, this is not a prophecy of an Apocalyptic Armageddon, Revelation, or End Times scenario. For if such a sordid state of affairs is allowed to arise, surely it signifies that our Evil Enemy...
The Limits of Philosophy
9.75
Paul Bonneau 2014-10-17 08:27
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR In an earlier article, I wrote to counter the notion of Matt Zwolinski that libertarians ought to dispense with the Non-Aggression Principle. I have since found another article countering Zwolinski by Jason Kuznicki coming from a different direction, as well as another supporting Zwolinski by Julian Sanchez. Not only do I not find Zwolinski convincing,...
Two Modest Suggestions
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Paul Hein 2014-10-15 08:31
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR A long time ago, in a different galaxy, I offered a suggestion for the relief of the financial problems of the airline industry. My advice went unheeded, and today we see the sorry mess that constitutes that industry today. I told you so! My idea, as I’m sure you remember, was to enhance the profitable aspects of airline operation, while reducing the...
The State Is Out of Date: We Can Do It Better
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Alex R. Knight III 2014-10-09 08:25
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR While there are many books both in and out of print designed to proselytize for a voluntary society to a layman audience, none perhaps have done so while retaining the kind of populist feel present in this offering from author Gregory Sams. Initially published in 1998 in a slightly less expansive form, earlier this year saw the latest edition of The...
Where Hoppe Goes Wrong
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Paul Bonneau 2014-10-07 08:25
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }Sometimes I have to laugh at all the arm-waving that libertarian theorists display. The inclination to argue about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin must be irresistible. I’m referring in particular to Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s latest 9,600-word broadside, A Realistic Libertarianism. 1) It is amusing to see...
Who's On First--And Where Is It?
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Paul Hein 2014-10-03 08:01
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR I am bemused at the concern shown about the problem of illegal aliens, but perhaps that can be attributed to the fact that I live hundreds of miles from the border. There seems to be some controversy about the role of the federal vs. state governments. I think this would be an ideal situation to employ the principle of subsidiarity, which states that problems...
Ringo's Law and the Healthcare System of Doom
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Glen Allport 2009-08-12 16:00
Exclusive to STR - 1 - The Law Some years ago, noted philosopher Ringo Starr described an important and now-famous discovery: "Everything government touches turns to crap." That observation clearly deserves elevation in status from the mere "something Ringo said" to the more formal Ringo's Law. Ringo's Law generates accurate predictions and explains events in useful fashion;...
Separation of Me and State
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B.R. Merrick 2009-07-26 16:00
Exclusive to STR I listened to Dr. Laura every once in a while years ago, back when I was proudly religious and conservative. She was, and I assume still is, unabashedly conservative. She took a lot of abuse for it, but she stuck with it. (Of course, it did make her a millionaire.) One time when I was listening, a man called in to tell her that a young woman he knew had just had an abortion...
Anarcho-Statism
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Anthony Gregory 2004-07-13 16:00
If anarchism means anything, it is a rejection of the state, meaning, a rejection of an institution claiming and maintaining a monopoly on violence. Of course, anarchists find themselves in the real world, in which such monopolies clearly exist. Some of the things states do we might even approve of, at least circumstantially. If an anarchist is being mugged, and a police officer comes by to stop...
The Greatest Tragedy
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Anthony Gregory 2004-05-16 16:00
The greatest tragedy in our culture is the widely accepted lie that the wars in U.S. history, since after the American Revolution, have been necessary, proper and even glorious. And this lie has been swallowed, parroted, and perpetuated by many of those who call themselves conservatives, liberals, progressives, socialists, constitutionalists, 'libertarians' and even 'anarchists'--all to the fatal...
Why Deism and Corrupt Government Don"t Mix
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Robert L. Johnson 2004-12-16 17:00
It's been my experience when talking to people about religion, that the overwhelming majority of them have never heard of Deism. Hopefully, with the recent conversion of world-famous philosopher and atheist, Antony Flew, to Deism, this will begin to change. The lack of knowledge of Deism is highly unusual given the strong role Deism has played in the history of Europe and America. But, as FDR is...
Libertarianism in One Sentence
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Roderick Long 2004-05-30 16:00
David Bergland once offered Libertarianism in One Lesson. I would like to offer libertarianism in one sentence. The most succinct formulation of libertarianism I can think of is this: Other people are not your property. In other words: They are not yours to boss around. Their lives are not yours to micromanage. The fruits of their labour are not yours to dispose...
I Remember
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strike 2004-05-08 16:00
I remember how, after the brakes went out on the station wagon after coming down a hill, she reached over just before we crashed and held me back against the seat with her arm. I remember that vividly even though I was only a little boy. That probably saved my life, as my head still cracked the windshield. I remember how she'd pick us up from swimming lessons and take us to Vacation Bible...
Wheat and Chaff
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Bill Butler 2009-12-08 17:00
Exclusive to STR 'His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.' ~ Matthew 3:12 So much of life is about: (1) making distinctions; and (2) making choices. Indeed, the meaning and consequence of all our lives can fairly be said to be a test of our free will choices and the rational,...
Origins
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Jim Davies 2009-10-25 17:00
Exclusive to STR  Where and when did government start? It's quite a mystery. Given that human beings are basically harmless creatures, how did it happen that an inherently violent institution arose in human society, whose whole raison d'tre is always to destroy the fundamental human right of self-governance? The question is important not just to satisfy historical understanding, but to...
Does the American Empire Deserve to Die?
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Douglas Herman 2009-11-01 17:00
 Exclusive to STR November 2, 2009 I’m halfway through a reflective book written by an old curmudgeon. Part patriot, part historian, all gadfly, Gore Vidal wrote Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia in 2004, just before the upcoming national elections. Almost a time capsule coupled with dire prophecy, the book is a sober,...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
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D. Saul Weiner 2015-02-13 09:13
Column by D. Saul Weiner. Exclusive to STR There are a lot of heated exchanges going on right now in social media related to vaccination. Many people have become convinced that parents who do not vaccinate are jeopardizing the health of others and that vaccines for children should be mandated. Politicians who are expected to run for president in 2016 are starting to weigh in on the topic and some...
'Obamacare Nightmare Edition' of Ringo's Law and the Healthcare System of Doom MUST READ
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Glen Allport 2013-10-30 08:02
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR Introduction for this 2013 Edition As I write this – October 28, 2013, more than four years after the column below was posted (here with minor edits; see the original at this link if you wish) – NBC News is reporting that the Obama administration “knew millions could not keep their health insurance" under Obamacare, and has known...
An Armed March on Washington? MUST READ
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Alex R. Knight III 2013-05-07 06:52
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Perhaps never before have I encountered a proposal within Liberty Movement circles that has generated more controversy faster and further than Adam Kokesh’s planned July 4th march on Washington, District of Criminals, in which he states that himself and the other participants “will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to...
The Orwellian Paradigm--Killing You, For Your Own Safety MUST READ
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fmoghul 2013-04-10 08:12
Column by Faisal Moghul. Exclusive to STR Almost 30 years ago, cultural critic Neil Postman argued in Amusing Ourselves to Death that television’s gradual replacement of the printing press has created a dumbed-down culture driven by mindless entertainment. In this context, Postman claimed that Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World correctly foresaw our dystopian future, as opposed to George...
Frameworks, Virtual Reality and Civil Society: A Manifesto for the Doctrine of Love and Freedom MUST READ
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Glen Allport 2012-12-06 08:44
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR Perhaps I should say this paradigm shift is resuming. The healthier incoming paradigm is a modern, more accurate, better-supported, and better-understood version of one that began the shift towards a free, healthy, and prosperous world more than three centuries ago and which informed the creation of the United States itself: Classical Liberalism. - 1...
Timeline of a World-Killing Paradigm Shift MUST READ
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Glen Allport 2012-05-14 00:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR   Part 3 of "Could the Non-Aggression Principle Stop the Sixth Great Extinction?"   Part One of this series discussed the Non-Aggression principle, calling it "the libertarian half of the Golden Rule" (compassion being the other half) and describing the function of aggression in creating not only tyranny and war but also...
Terrorist Alert: Government Extremists Threaten Americans MUST READ
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Glen Allport 2012-03-26 00:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR   Question: are you more terrified by Muslim extremists, by "domestic terrorists" – or by your own government? Which group is more likely to assault you? To kill you? To unjustly imprison and even torture you?   The U.S. federal government has ALREADY:   Built and is staffing a huge gulag of concentration camps [...
The State Is a Firing Squad MUST READ
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JGVibes 2012-02-17 01:00
Column by JGVibes.   Exclusive to STR   Although the common perception of human nature is very negative, the truth is that most people who aren’t mentally ill have a very difficult time committing acts of violence. Usually it takes a sizeable payment and a fair amount of manipulation to convince someone to act violently, and even then a tremendous amount of guilt typically...
How the 1% Took America's Wealth--and How to Get It Back MUST READ
9.25
Glen Allport 2011-12-01 01:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR  - 1 - Plundering Wealth vs Producing Wealth   In recent decades, the rich have gathered an increasing share of the total wealth in the United States. As this wealth disparity grows and especially as large numbers of the formerly middle class fall into poverty and even into homelessness, this flow of wealth from main street (from anyone not...
'Anarchy or Minarchy' Is Only Half the Question, Part 2 MUST READ
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Glen Allport 2011-04-13 03:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR  This is Part 2 of a response to a column by Wesley Messamore. Last week's Part One of this column discussed the following:   ·      Minarchy: Lighting a Match to the Fuse of Tyranny ·      Anarchy: By Itself, Yang without Yin ·      The Missing Key...